The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)

Politics

  • Head of Osoul-garayan [Fundamentalist] faction of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, “It was no longer possible for Larijani and Ahmadinejad to work together,” an allusion to rumors that Larijani will run for parliament and, later, against Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election.
  • Bahonar called Ahmadinejad’s appointment of Said Jalili as National Security Council head to be a breach of the Constitution, which says the head of the Council should come from within it.
  • Mizan says Tehran mayor and former Revolutionary Guard and Police Commander Qalibaf has held meetings with Revolutionary Guard commanders “every second day during the past days.”

Diplomacy

  • Entekhab analyst says Ahmadinejad has chosen war, and compares Putin’s visit to Tehran with Primakov’s visit to Baghdad as last warning to Saddam Hussein.
  • Larijani’s brother Mohammad-Javad in interview with E’temad:
    • “We should not pave the way for military action against us, despite the belief that we might prevail in a military conflict.”
    • “They [The United States] use the nuclear issue as a pretext to attack us. If we accepted their demands, tomorrow they would criticize us for our relations with [Lebanese] Hezbollah.”
    • “They oppose the nature of our regime, which they wrongly call a theocracy, but even if our political system was transformed into a liberal democracy they would not let us be, since they do not desire to see an independent Iran.”
    • “There is no difference in our nuclear policies today and the nuclear policy Iran pursued during President Khatami.”
    • “Western governments should not reach the conclusion that they can destabilize us with some modest pressure…”
    • “No leader in the world believes that the Iranian president really desires to annihilate Israel with cannons and tanks…”
    • “With some technicalities and skill we could have avoided the Security Council Resolutions against Iran.”
  • Larijani will attend talks with Solana (and Jalili).
  • Quoting Palestinian news agency, al-Youm, Iranian Entekhab writes that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has sent a letter to 20,000 members of the Iranian Jewish community, begging them to leave Iran to ‘save their lives.’”
  • Former Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic Ali Fallahian demands “cooperation between the ministries of intelligence and foreign affairs” in order to create “promote Tehran’s political and intelligence cooperation with Moscow, Delhi and Beijing” in order to neutralize the Shia/Sunni conspiracies of “America and the Israel lobby, proponents of unreligious politics and apostate groups.”
  • Rafsanjani: “The nuclear bomb is not our goal.”

Culture and Religion

  • Representative of the Jewish community in the parliament of the Islamic Republic, Morris Mo’tamed protests against Fars News Agency’s depiction of Judaism.
  • Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani called the population control policy “a dangerous mistake which reduces the number of Muslims vis à vis other religions and sects.”
  • Iranian actors, Ali Nasirian and Haniyeh Tavassolian protest against censorship of the television series Miveh-ye Mamnou’e [Forbidden Fruit].

Economy and Trade

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Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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